About The Project

About The Project

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Excerpt from the Quester Quarterly!

Fall 2017 Page 10
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Friday, September 1, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Collected Data

  • Two years of work
  • There are approximately 380 pieces of glass in each panel
  • It averaged about 1 ½ hours per piece of glass; around 30 hours of work a week
  • Approximately two months of strictly design time was needed
  • 10 rolls of solder (one pound each) were used
  • Three rolls of copper foil – 425 inches per roll were needed
  • Final cleaning: eight plus hours per panel

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Almost There!

These four panels are calling on all the skills and knowledge about stained glass construction that I have learned since I first started working in glass in the 1960’s.  In addition, these panels are requiring many new approaches with new solutions.  Because the Heisey glass is not flat but actually three dimensional, there is the challenge of fitting the pieces together while maintaining the design and having the entire panel fit within the required depth dimension allowed so that the panels may be sealed between two layers of plate glass for installation in the new doors.

One goal for these panels has been to use glass from the Museum that was broken or damaged.  Many pieces have chips, cracks, major scratches – all of which turn them into “scrap” glass. For my purposes, a great deal of this glass can be re-purposed through careful cutting and grinding into quite useable pieces for the panels.  Often times a third of a plate will clear the imposed depth while the full piece will not, it is too deep to fit.  The base of a goblet can become a roundel and slices of a goblet’s bowl and be flat enough if properly trimmed.

The internal strengthening created using zinc calming (caming) as an integral part of the overall design also defines the internal sections, helping to control the fitting of the glass into the overall allotted depth.

Having completed the upper two panels to the point where they can be put upright for a full visual inspection, two things are immediately apparent.  These panels are very sturdy – the internal barring is quite strong and the glass itself (much of it is amazingly thick) adds strength.  The second thing is that the high quality of Heisey glass – its shear clarity and sparkle – makes these panels impressive.  They seem to glow.

Another area of discovery is working out the adjustments to each piece so that the pieces may be soldered together after they have been foiled in the Tiffany style.  Some of the individual pieces require over an hour of special grinding to get the proper fit.  In most cases, variations in the three dimensional geometry allows for a good fit through physical contact.  Occasionally there are larger gaps to bridge.  Since the panels are enclosed, some of those gaps can be left open, accent the three-dimensionality of the panels.  However, all this non-flat surfacing will make the final cleanings of the panels quite an undertaking.  This too, will be an adventure.

I have taken great care to include as many of the various patterns, etchings and colors of Heisey glass as possible.  The panels have the same theme and basic layout but each one has its own variations,  Look for the Diamond H in many pieces; notice the differences and the similarities; and mostly enjoy these door panels.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Glass can do many things.  It can break, snap, glisten and glow.  When it comes to shaping it and "encouraging" one piece or another to fit into place, I have a large arsenal of tools at my disposal.

Pictured here is my beloved grinding wheel.  It's like spinning sandpaper that slowly wears away the glass with a rough surface.  The white mess you see is the ground glass "sand" piling up and also water which acts as a lubricant to keep the machinery from overheating.  Underneath, I've added a scrap of leather to slide the glass on as I gently rotate it across the face of the rotating wheel.  Without that leather, the glass "sand" would happily scratch my pretty Heisey pieces and I'd lose that magnificent lustre in about two minutes flat.

I'm sure you can imagine the mess this sort of machine makes in the rest of my workshop too - spraying water and glass "sand" with abandon.  Over the years I've developed a deep, cellular loathe for that mess, and so I built a taped-together "hood" or sorts to cover the workspace without interfering with my view.  It might not be perfect or expensive, but it does the job just fine and it has made my life a lot easier to just accept the fact that working with stained glass will always be messy; it's best to let the mess live in one place after all and not stress about it.

That spatter gets everywhere too, and is especially annoying when it gets onto my glasses!  Oh the sacrifices we artists must make for our work.  But OH! how we are rewarded.